The NFL trade deadline came and went without much of a fuss. Unlike the MLB trade deadline, the NFL's deadline rarely proves to be an extraordinarily exciting day. On occasion it becomes a focal point of a week when someone like a Terrell Owens is traded but otherwise it finds itself hidden behind the rest of the week's NFL news.
Almost opposite to the NFL's trade week is the trade week within a fantasy league. For many players it may be a make-or-break situation where by trading for a single player could make an entire season. In some leagues, teams out of the hunt have the ability to jettison that one star player for future draft picks or to balance out the team for that season.
In the real NFL, Randy Moss was worth a third round pick; but when placed into a fantasy football context, what is his worth in regard to his fellow players? Deon Branch was had for a fourth round pick by the New England Patriots but is he worth nearly the same amount as Moss in fantasy?
We'll take a look at what the top fantasy producers are worth as the fantasy football trade deadline draws near, using data and points drawn from Yahoo! Fantasy Football.
Regular Yahoo! Fantasy Leagues
Aaron Rodgers: 124.14 points. Concussion or not, Rodgers leads the fantasy world in points right now. The loss of Jermichael Finley coincided with an explosive day for Greg Jennings so Rodgers will not be missing out on offensive weapons.
Trade Value: Valuing quarterbacks is hard in the regular leagues due to the fact that six of the top ten players are quarterbacks. Arian Foster, Chris Johnson, LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte and Antonio Gates are the only top players that come close to fitting into a quarterback valuation but of that group only Foster and Johnson are reasonable to trade for straight up. The others in the group would require a second body to even out the trade.
2. Peyton Manning: 123.74 points. Throw, throw, throw and throw some more. It seems like the Indianapolis Colts still cannot figure out how to get a reasonable running game going. Manning will continue to throw and his owners will continue to benefit from it.
Trade Value: See Rodgers.
3. Philip Rivers: 123.42 points. Wasn't Vincent Jackson sitting out and being suspended supposed to stop Rivers from being a big time passer? Looks like that was wrong.
Trade Value: See Manning, Rodgers
4. Arian Foster: 121.30 points. Foster finds himself far and away the top running back. With Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson showing up for the Houston Texans it appears that Foster should continue to put up big numbers in the ground game.
Trade Value: As the other top five players are all quarterbacks and the next running back on the list, Chris Johnson, sits at No. 7 and is 20 points behind, it wouldn't be heretical to say that Foster is as valuable as Rodgers, Manning or Rivers. Trade for one of them.
5. Kyle Orton: 115.78 points. Orton is no slouch when it comes to passing yards. Sitting just below Rivers (2008 passing yards) at 1942 passing yards, Orton has lead the Denver Broncos offense by also throwing 9 touchdowns to only 3 interceptions. Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gafney and co. have become important fantasy receivers because of Orton's arm.
Trade Value: Orton is probably the biggest "if" out of the top quarterbacks on this list but still deserves to be valued like them. See Rivers, Manning, Rodgers.
Points-Per-Reception Yahoo! Fantasy Leagues
1. Arian Foster: 140.50 points. Foster is the cream of the crop this season for running backs. Not regarded as a great out of the backfield receiver, Foster has still caught 19 balls this season and that has upped his value in PPR leagues.
Trade Value: His cost would have to be Brandon Lloyd and Jahvid Best. A top, but not best, wide receiver plus a running back that would be excellent in a two running back PPR league would be suitable for Foster.
2. Austin Colle: 128.30 points. Collie is a true fantasy surprise. With Pierre Garcon having been either injured or ineffective and Anthony Gonzalez once again out of the picture, Collie has exploded for 503 yards on 44 receptions and 6 touchdowns. He has had a huge season so far but Collie cannot be expected to keep up such numbers for the long haul, even if his quarterback is Peyton Manning.
Trade Value: If a top flight running back or a solid wide receiver and running back can be had by trading Collie then take that package if possible. Collie is not a true No. 1 fantasy receiver, even in a PPR league. Solving a weak running back situation or balancing out wide receivers and running backs will be more valuable than Collie in the long run. A combination of say a Malcolm Floyd and Darren McFadden would be a comparable package based upon his current numbers.
3. LeSean McCoy: 126.80 points. McCoy is probably the best running back for a PPR league. He has had a fantastic sophomore season so far and appears to be just as good as former Philadelphia Eagles starting running back Brian Westbrook at catching the ball out of the backfield. Though Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb had discontinued his "Checkdown Charlie" play, McCoy will only be held back by his broken rib, not the Eagles offense, when it comes to production.
Trade Value: My recommendation would be to hold onto him (especially if you are in a keeper league) but if you are thinking of trading him the package would be similar to Foster's trade package. Receiving a top wide receiver and a second starter at running back would provide a proper source of fantasy talent to replace McCoy through a trade.
4. Aaron Rodgers: 124.14 points. Rodgers is the top quarterback this season and will most likely remain that way unless Peyton Manning's attempts per game rise higher for the remainder of the season.
Trade Value: Trading a quarterback is always tough because there is typically a large drop off between the top five and then the rest. This season, however, there isn't as large of a gap. That is not to say that Rodgers' value is not as high as possible but this isn't a year where his value is as important to a PPR league. That being said only a return of a Foster, McCoy, Frank Gore, Antonio Gates or Chris Johnson would be a suitable exchange for an owner of Rodgers.
5. Peyton Manning: 123.74 points. When is Manning not in a top five of a fantasy league? His throwing rate this season seems unsustainable (254 attempts) but that will only increase Manning's points total overall.
Trade Value: See Rodgers.